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  • Writer's pictureOperations Rx

You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure

Management thinker Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying that “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

Drucker means that you can’t know whether or not you are successful unless success is defined and tracked. With a clearly established metric for success, you can quantify progress and adjust your process to produce the desired outcome. Without clear objectives, you’re stuck in a constant state of guessing.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. – Peter Drucker

American Statistician W. Edwards Deming famously said: “In God we trust, all others must bring data.”

We look at the number of sales required to meet your growth goals. We want to know exactly how many qualified leads you need to generate those sales, and we work to define the amount of website traffic necessary to generate that leads goal.

These numbers make us very vulnerable: we run the risk of disappointing our clients by not achieving the goals. Tangible success metrics mean that we either win or lose, there’s no middle ground. You either achieved your goal or you failed.

This transparent mindset, however, is incredibly beneficial to us. Here’s why — 

We make educated, data-driven decisions quickly:

By clearly defining what results constitute a win, we are able to make objective, data-driven decisions both internally and for our clients.

We don’t set standardized processes because we have a hunch they might work, because we heard a neat idea on the radio, or because it’s the way everybody does it. We define success, try a process, and make adjustments based on the facts.

Our system constantly pushes us to improve:

Transparency means that there’s no hiding behind jazzy taglines, buzzwords, and marketing jargon. Instead of focusing on making ourselves look good, we have to focus on being good.

We have no year-end sales pitch

Our review meetings with clients look like this: “You invested X, and that produced XYZ. Did we achieve our specific goals?”

If the answer is yes, we expect our clients to be eager to continue working together. After all, if you spend $50,000 to earn $1,300,000, why would you not be excited about continued inbound growth?

If we didn’t achieve our specific goals, we don’t smooth it over and try to convince a client to keep working together. We had our chance, the metrics are in place for a reason, and failure isn’t the way to keep happy clients.

What are you doing to improve your business objectively?

Clarifying expectations, defining success, and measuring, analyzing, and adjusting are the right steps to creating winning processes. Implement these habits and your business will improve.

It’s not the easy road, it’s the right road

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